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January 29 , 2009

The Psychology of Employee Empowerment

Concepts, Critical Themes and a Framework for Implementation


The complexities of employee empowerment have been largely underestimated and it is clear that organisations struggle with putting the concept into practice.

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Rozana Ahmad Huq recognises that effective utilisation of human resources is a strategic issue for organisations. Hierarchical organisations struggle to survive. The growing trend for downsizing and merging of organisations means that they can no longer maintain the 'command and control' approach and employees are given more responsibility and expected to take decisions. However, simply burdening employees with extra responsibility without empowering them does not deliver results.

Drawing on her own research in organisations, Dr Huq investigates the concept of empowerment in a new way that combines themes from the disciplines of management and social work, the latter being a domain where empowerment is an important construct. This helps to bridge the gaps in knowledge in the management domain and draws attention to the positive and negative psychological implications for employees of the practice of empowerment that are often ignored by leaders and managers. Ultimately, the author offers a 'practice model' to help people in management and non-management understand the new roles and behaviours that they need to adopt if empowerment is to become a reality. This book is a resource for any business or other organisation genuinely interested in employee empowerment and for those with a responsibility for teaching about it.

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